Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2015-03-30

Kapil Nathan, a fifth grader at Mount Laurel Elementary School in Shelby County, won first place in the State Geographic Bee, held Friday, March 27, at Samford University. Nathan will represent Alabama in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

Nathan correctly answered “Australia” to name the country that includes the islands of Melville, Mornington and Bathurst to win a tie-breaker in the championship round. He is the son of Archana Subramanian and Vaidyanathan S. Venganullur.

He received $100 and other prizes, in addition to an all-expenses-paid trip to the national finals. The national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and other prizes.

James Perry, an eighth grade student at The Donoho School in Anniston, Alabama, finished second. He is the son of Robbi and Tracy Perry.

Liam Tully, an eighth grade student at St. Ignatius School in Mobile, Alabama, finished third. He is the son of Bonnie and Ken Tully.

Alabama’s top 102 geography students, all in grades four through eight, competed in the event, hosted by the Samford geography department.  The competitors had qualified after winning contests in their schools and placing among the top scorers in the state on a test administered by the National Geographic Society.  They represented schools in 25 Alabama counties.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.